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This clandestine web of police spies 
links almost every major dty 
in the United States and Canada. 
But it is so secret thot few people 
even know it exists end so powerful 
that it does as it pleases while 
answering to no one. 

In today's sociely blackmail has re- 
placed physical force as the currency 
of political power brokerage. J, Edgar 
Hoover knew that power lies between 
the manila covers of a personal dos- 
sier, and he used that knowledge to 
build and maintain his empire tor al- 
most half a century. The FBI, the CIA , 
and virluatly every other agency given 
the authority to spy to defend us from 
foreign or domestic enemies have 
sooner or later gone off the reserva- 
tion and used their power to steal our 

In contrast to the CIA and the FBI, 
the l ^aw Enforcement lr ilElli fl.ence Unj t 
is a Iittle-known organization; In Tact, 
almost no one has ever heard of it. 
But its power Is considerable, and its 
potential threat to our freedom Is 

The LEIU links the Intelligence 
squads of almost every major police 
force in the United Slates and Canada. 
Allhough its members are sworn 
police officers who work for state and 
city governments, it is a private club, 
not answerable to voters, taxpayers, 
or elected officials. It cuts across the 
vertical lines of authority of local gov- 
ernment, for its members hold certain 
allegiances to the group that cannot 



be countermanded by a mayor, a county 
manager, or even a stale governor. 

The organization (orms a vast network of 
intelligence units that exchange dossiers 
and conduct investigalians on a reciprocal 
basis- Several ot the police departments 
belonging lo the group have recently been 
caught in illegal wirelapping, burglary, and 
spying on the private lives ot ordinary citi- 
zens. The LEIU IS. in effect, a huge, private 
domestic-intelligence agency. 

"The LEIU is not a secret organization," 
says U. Ray H enry, chief of intelligence lor 
the Long BeachTCaiif., Police Department 
and the organization's national chairman. 
"The LEIU is so secret that, until recently, 
even its existence was usually denied," 
says Douglass Durham , a former Des 
Moines police olticer wno claims to have 
worked as an undercover investigator lor 
the group. It the LEIU is not a secret soci- 
ety, it may as well be. Several Washington, 
D.C.. lawyers who specialize in personal 
privacy and civil-liberties cases told me 
that they had never heard of the organiza- 
tion. Even among many police officers, the 
LEIU is something ot a mystery. One former 
California cop thought the name referred to 
the Los Angeles Police Department's intel- 
ligence squad. And an investigator for a 
California district attorney's office de- 
scribed the LEIU as "extremely hush-hush. 

extremely low-profile" 

The LEIU's low profile has succeeded in 
keeping the organization out of public view 
for twenty years. The group was founded in 
March 1956 al a secret meeting called by 
Capt. James E. Hamilton, then commander 
of the Los Angeles Police Department's in- 
telligence squad, and by several other 
senior California police officials. Represen- 
tatives from twenly-six police and sheriff's 
departments in seven western states at- 
tended the meeting and became charter 
members. By 1967 the organization had 
grown to include seventy police forces 
across the United States, and by 1975 
more than 225 law-enforcement agencies 
were involved, including six in Canada, 

"The thing is a monster network," says 
Lake Headley, a former Las Vegas deputy 
sheriff who belonged to the LEIU in the late 
1950s. "It was Captain Hamilton's brain- 
child. He wanted to take police intelligence 
away from the FBI, Police departments do 
the street-level work to collect information, 
and Hamilton didn't like the idea of turning 
it over to the FBI and making them the 
monitor: so he formed the LEIU to circum- 
vent the FBI's network. It was established to 
form an intelligence network independent 
of any federal agency. The LEIU is a com- 
bination fraternal organization and func- 
tioning intelligence agency." 

The LEIU is divided Into four geographic 
zones: eastern, central, northwestern, and 
southwestern. Each zone is governed by a 
chairman and a vice-chairman. Nalionally, 
there are also a general chairman, a gen- 
eral vice-chairman, a secretary, and a trea- 
surer. The national and zone officers com- 
prise a twelve-member executive board, 
which governs the organization. The LEIU 
holds national and regional conventions 
every year. Lake Headley describes the 
conventions as "big club meetings," 

It's not easy to join the LEIU. When apply- 
ing (or membership, a police force must be 
sponsored by another agency already in 
the LEIU and must be endorsed by threes 
others. All members are notified of the ap- 
plication, and the LEIU carries out a 
thorough investigation of the applicant 
agency and the officers who work for it and 
will take part in LEIU acliviiies. Finally, the 
executive board votes on the application. 

"It's a very seleclive. very olitist sort of 
thing," says former member Lake Headley. 
"In a focal intelligence squad you kind of 
look to the LEIU man lo jump into a phone 
booth and come dashing out in a Super- 
man suit." 

The protective cloak ol obscurity shield- 
ing the LEIU from public view was briefly 
lifted last year when the Houston, Tex,, 
Police Department left the organization. 


The following confidential membership list of the LEIU was com- 
piled in October 1973 and is probably still at least 90 percent 
accurate. Trie following abbreviations are used: Co. — County; 
P.D.— Police Department; D.A.— District Attorney; S.D.— Sheriff's 


Dept. Public Safely 

Stale Troopers 

Depl. Public Safely 
Phoenix PD. 
Tucson P.D. 

Ultio RockPD. 

Alameda P.D. 
Alameda Co DA. 
Alameda Co. S.D, 
Albany PD 
Anaheim P.D. 
Berkeley PD. 
Buena Parl^RD, 
Butte Co, S.D, 
Concord P.D, 
Contra Cosla Co. S.D, 
Daly CityPD. 

El CerriiaPD, 
El Dorado Co. S.D, 
Emeryville P.D. 
Fremont P.D. 
Fresno PD. 
Fresno Co S.D, 
Fullerton PD. 
Garden Grove P-D. 
Hayward P.D. 
Humboldt Co S.D. 
Huntingdon Beach P.D. 
Imperial Co. S.D. 
Kern Co, S.D, 
Long Beach PD, 
Los Angeles P.D. 
Los Angeles Co D.A. 
Los Angeles Co. S,D. 
Marin Co, D.A. 
Warin Co, S.D. 
I^deslo RD, 
Monterey ParkRD. 
Napa RD. 
Napa Co, S,D, 
Newport Beach RD. 
Oakland P.D, 
Ontario P.D. 
Orange Co. D.A. 
Oxnard PD. 
Paim Springs RD, 

Palo Alio RD. 
Piedmont PD. 
Placer Co. S.D. 
Pomona P.D. 
Redwood CityPD. 
Richmond P.D. 
Riverside Co. S.D. 
Sacramento P.D. 
Sacfamenlo Co. S.D. 
San Bar nardind Co. S.D. 
San Diego PD. 
San Diego Co. D-A, 
San Francisco P.D. 
San Joaquin Co. S.D. 
San Jose PD. 
San LeandroPD, 
San Luis Obispo Co. S.D, 
San MaieoP.D, 
San Mateo Co. D,A. 
San MaleoCo. S-D. 
San Pablo RD. 
San Rafael RD. 
Sanla AnaPD, 
Santa Barbara PD, 
Sanla Barbara Co. S.D. 
Santa Clara PD. 
Santa Clara Co. D.A. 
Santa Clara Co. S.D. 
Santa Cruz Co S.D, 

Sanla RosaPD. 

So. San Francisco P.D. 

Stanislaus Co, S.D, 

Slate Division ol 
Law Enlorcemenl 
(Central Cootdinaling 

Slock ton RD. 

Torrance RD. 

Tulare Co. D.A. 

Tulare Co. S.D. 

\fentura PD. 

\fenlura Co. D.A. 

\fentura Co, S.D. 

Walnut Creek RD. 

Boulder RD- 
Bureau of Investigation 
Denver RD. 
Jefferson Co. S.D. 

Hartlord RD. 

New Haven Police Service 
Stale Police 

State Police 


Dade Co. Public Safely Dept. 
Dept. of Law Enforcement 
DuvalCo. S.D. 

Fort Lauderdale RD. 
Hollywood RD. 
Miami P.D. 
Orlando RD. 
Tampa RD. 


Cobb Co. P.D. 

De Kalb Co. PD, 

Muscogee Co. S.D, 

Slate Division of Investigation 


Hawaii RD, 
Honolulu RD. 

Boise RD. 

Dept. of Law Enforcement 

Chicago RD. 

Cook Co, Stale Attorney's Office 
Skokie RD. 
Slate Polks 

State Police 


Bureau of Criminal Investigation 
Cedar Rapids RD, 
Des Moines PD, 


Houston police olficials announced lhai 
Iheir departmeni was resigning from lUe 
LE).U a'ter it had receivad requests from 
other member agencies lor information on 
the pfiva[e lives ol people with absolutely 
no criminal connections, In one instance 
Cited by the Houston odicials. a California 
police department asked for a full-scale 
investigation ol a highly respected Hous- 
ton businessman who had requested a 
liquor license to sell beer in a chain of 
grocery stores in California. The inquiry re- 
portedly included a request for inlormalion 
about the man's invasinnents, business as- 
sociates, lamily life, and even his sex 

LEIU national chairman Ray Henry de- 
nies the allegation, describing it as "a 
bunch 0' sour grapes," The Houston Police 
Departmeni didn't quit the LEIU, according 
to Lieutenant Henry. "They were kicked out 
by me because they had something tike 
200 officers indicted (or illegal wiretapping. 
We're not going to put up with that kind of 
crap," Lieutenant Henry said that he had a 
posiai-registration receipt to prove the 
Houston Police Department v/as expelled 
from the LEIU prior to its announced resig- 
nation, and he added that the present 
Houston chief ol police had denied the ear- 
lier charges by his subordinates that the 
LEIU spied on noncriminal subjects. 

The setf-proclaimed sensitivity ol the 
Houston cops to the privacy of ordinary 

Citizens does seem a hit implausible in 
view of the department's own record, which 
has recently come to lighi. Houston has 
been the scene of one of the major police- 
spying scandals of recent years, involving 
the deparimeni's Criminal Intelligence Di- 
vision, the FBI, and the Southwestern Bell 
Telephone Company. The affair probably 
was the cause of Houston's expulsion from 
the LEIU. although Lieutenant Henry's 
pious condemnation of the department's 
illegal wiretapping serves to mask what is 
probably the LEIU's true reason for expel- 
ling the Texas cops. 

In 1973 Houston elected liberal Demo- 
crat Fred Holheinz as mayor. Hofheinz 
promptly made good his campaign prom- 
ise to replace Houston's hard-line, law- 
and-order police chief, whose department 
had frequently been charged with brutality 
to blacks. Hofheinz's new chief, Carroll f^- 
Lynn, soon discovered thai under his pre- 
decessor the police department had car- 
ried out a ten-year program of political spy- 
ing. The Criminal Intelligence Division had 
amassed dossiers on more than a thou- 
sand noncriminal subjects. Ivlosl of the in- 
dividuals spied upon were liberals, black 
activists, or civil-libertarians, although the 
cops had also taken an interest in some 
conservatives. Chief Lynn found dossiers 
on liberal Congresswoman Barbara Jor- 
dan and conservative Congressman Bob 
Casey. There was also a thick file on Fred 

Hofheinz, the new mayor. 

The police spy files were chock-full c 
personal information, often including se> 
ual gossip, and much of the data couN 
have been acquired only through wiretap 
ping. Texas has no slate law for regulatim 
wiretapping, and under a 1968 federj 
statute, local police in such states are foi 
bidden to tap phones under any circurr 
stances; electronic eavesdropping can b 
done only by federal agents with court 01 
ders. Chief Lynn launched an internal ir 
vestigalion in order to detemiine how ih 
information in the files had been obtainec 
The probe disclosed that the Housto 
police had conducted more than 
thousand illegal wiretaps during a sever 
year period. 

The files of the Houston Criminal Inteil 
gence Division were sequestered on th 
order of a federal judge and were lume 
over to a federaf grand jury invesiigaim 
the affair. The sequestered files include 
not only the standard ClD dossiers but als 
one full set of the special files of the LEIU- 
the complete assortment of intelligence ir 
formation that Captain Hamilton and h; 
successors had succeeded in keeping 01 
of the hands of the federal authorities fc 
almost twenty years. In the words of Liei 
tenant Henry, the Houston cops had pe 
mitted the LEIU files to be "seized by civi 
ians," and it is this surrender, rather tha 
the telephone tapping, that seems Ih 


of Investigation 

l-ouisvitle Dfv ol Podce 
Slate Police 

Jefferson Parish S.D 
New Orleans PD 
Stale Police 

State Police 


Slate Police 

Dept. of Attorney General 
Slate Police 


Depl. ol Attorney General 
Deifoit PD, 
Rinl PD 
Stale Police 
VMrten P.O. 

Bloominglon PD. 
Bureau ol Criminal 

Minneapolis PD. 

HigtTway Safely Patrol 


Gladstone Public Salely Dept 
Kansas CilyPD, 
Stale Highway Patfo! 
St- Louis Co. Dept. ol Police 
Si. Louis Metropolitan 
Police Depl, 

State Pairol 

Clark Co. S.D. 
Las Vegas Metro P D, 
Reno P.D, 
Sparks PD. 

Slate Gaming Conlrol Board 
Vteshoe Co. D A. 
V\ashoe Co- S D 

Slate Police 

Slate Comm. 

ol Invesligalion 
Slate Police 

AltjuQuerque P.D 
Stale Police 

Buffalo PD. 
Mount Vernon 

Police Dept, 
Nassau Co. PD. 
Nassau Co, D.A. 
New York City 

Police Dept. 
Rochester PD. 
Suffolk Co, PD, 
Waterfront Commission 

-N,Y Harbor 


Bureau of Cnminal 
Idsnlilicalion & 

Cincinnali PD, 

Cleveland PD. 

Slate Highway 

Stale Bureau 
of Invesligalion 

Eugene P.D. 
Multnomah Co. D.A. 
Mulinomah Co. SD 
Portland PD. 
State Police 

Philadelphia Co. D.A 
State Police 

Slate Police 

Nashville Metro PD, 

Beaumont PD, 
Corpus Cnrisli PD. 
Dallas PD, 

ol Pubiic Safety 
Fort Worth PD 
San Anionio P.D 
Wichita Falls RD, 


Ogden Cily PD, 


Salt Lake CityPD. 

Salt Lake Co. S.D, 

Stale Police 

Fairfax Co PD. 

Seattle RD. 
Stale Patrol 
Tacoma RD, 


State Dept. ol Justice 


Stale Attorney General 


Canada Depadmeni 

ol Manpower & Immigration 
Niagara Regional Police Force 
Ontario Provincial Police 
Toronto MelroPD. 
Windsor CityPD 


Montreal Urban Comm. P.D. 


^The LEIU flatly refuses to show its files to anyone 
who is not a member— including FBI agents.5 

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^■-^■^the morbiyou need 
. - R i 2! a .b o u b I e. W ides. : 

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Gigarette'papers .and.^^ 

more plausible exptenaudri for Houston's 
expulsion from the LE!U. 

Custody 'of the LElU's (iles is the most 
sacred trust that the organization bestows 
upon Its individual members. The LEIU not 
only withholds its liles from the FBI and 
other federal authorities but also dally re- 
fuses to show them to anyone who is not a 
LEIU member. Former member Lake Head- 
ley recalls that access to the locked LEIU 
file cabinets could not be shared by two 
officers working on the same case unless 
both were LEIU memtsers. (Today all offi- 
cers assigned full-time to the intelligence 
squad of a regular member agency are 
considered LEIU members and have full 
access to the files.) in some instances a 
police oflicer is designated as an "affiliate 
member" of the LEIU. meaning that he, but 
not Ihe police department for which he 
works, belongs to the LEIU; he is the only 
person in the entire department who may 
look at the LEIU files. Even a request by the 
chief of police or by the police commis- 
sioner would have to be refused. 

Both regular and aKiliate LEIU memtaers 
are forbidden to show the organization's 
secret dossiers to "civilians." It makes no 
difference that the chief of police is ap- 
pointed by the mayor or the city council 
and serves at their pleasure; he cannot 
obey any order to make the LEIU files 
available to them. 

"We've had numerous cases where 
some political figure has tried to gain ac- 
cess," Lieutenant Henry told me. "We had 
an agency not so long ago where our 
members voluntarily resigned from LEIU 
and returned the files because they weren't 
sure they could keep their mayor away 
from them. Nonmembers don't have the 
need to know or the right to know." 

Freedom-of-information and privacy 
laws enacted by the federal government 
and several o( the states give every citizen 
the right to know what is In government 
(iles, especially dossiers in which his own 
name may be, but the LEIU is completely 
exempt from such laws. The LEIU is a pri- 
vate club and therefore not subject to 
freedom-of-information or privacy laws- 
Thus the LEIU files are more secret than 
those of the CIA or the FBI. 

Any LEIU member can open a file on an 
ind'vidual-simply by filling out a form and 
obtaining the approval of Ihe local LEIU 
regional chairman. The form is forwarded 
to the California Bureau of Criminal Identifi- 
cation and Investigation in Sacramento, a 
part of the stale's Division of Law Enforce- 
ment that voluntarily acts as a central coor- 
dinating agency for Ihe LEIU. (The LElU's 
private status has not prevented it from 
receiving generous support from stale and 
federal government agencies,) The Spe- 
cial Services Section of the Bureau of Crim- 


inal Identification and Investigation sum- 
marizes all the informalion provided on the 
individual and puts it on a five-by-eight- 
inch card, along with a photograph, if one 
is available. Copies of the card are sent to 
all LEIU members, to be kept under lock 
and key in the special LEIU file cabinets. 

Some of the LEIU files have been en- 
tered into the Interstate Organized Crime 
Index, a computerized file system de- 
veloped and operated by the LEIU under £ 
$1 .3 million grant from the federal Law En- 
forcement Assistance Administration, The 
lOCI system is an international network 0 
computer terminals, linked by telecom- 
munications lines to a central computer rur 
by the IVIichigan State Police in East Lan 
sing. fVlich. Last year the LEAA cut off al 
funds for ttie lOCI system. 

"The Justice Department put it on ice, 
said Lieutenant Henry, blaming the cutof 
on public concern over domestic spying 
"They decided not to fund anything lha 
uses the word intelligence until the hu( 
and cry dies down. But they just recent!' 
called us up and said the pressure is off. 
he added. "So we may be back on again h 
a few months." 

Pressure on the LEIU resulted from th 
Houston police charges and from state 
ments made by a former Des f^floines polic 
officer, who told investigators for the Ser 
ate Select Committee on Intelligence Ih; 
he had served as an undercover agent tc 
the LEIU and was assigned to spy on nor 
criminal subjects. Douglass Durham, a 
accomplished pilot, safecracker. photo( 
rapher, scuba diver, and electronic 
eavesdropping specialist, said that he 
part of an LElU-sponsored exchange pn 
gram in which undercover officers wei 
traded between police departments in Ih 
Midwest. Durham says he was lent by th 
Des Moines police to work undercover f 
the police departments of Lincoln, Neb 
and Cedar Rapids. Iowa. He says Ih 
some of his assignments involved the sl 
veillance of political dissidents. 

Lieutenant Henry denies that Durha 
worked for the LEIU; the organizatu 
employs no undercover investigators. I 
says, (But individual LEIU member age 
cies are committed to conduct undercov 
investigations, surveillances, and bac 
ground checks for other member age 
cies, on request. Durham actually dair 
only to have worked undercover for the D 
Moines Police Department in an exchan- 
program sponsored by the LEIU. The D 
Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Lincoln poli 
departments are LEIU members and, pi 
sumably, use undercover investigator 
Lieutenant Henry also denies that the LE 
keeps files on anyone but people involv 
in organized crime, adding, "I hope tf 
story has been laid to rest, because 








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lolally false." 

But. when Donald H, Carroll, then LEIU 
general chairman, iestified before a Senate 
subcommittee probing criminal-justice 
data banks in 1974. he defined the pur- 
poseof the LEIU as, "the gathering, record- 
ing, investigating, and exchange of conli- 
denlial information not available through 
regular police channels on individuals and 
organizations involved in, but not neces- 
sarily limiied (a." organized crime (em- 
phasis added). And a 1973 report on the 
Interstate Organized Crime Index con- 
tained this statement: "The LEIU data base 
was comprised of persons of interest to 
intelligence units other than organized 
crime subjects." Lieutenant Henry had a 
copy of the report, and I asked him atjoul 
the statement. 

"I don't understand that statement at all." 
he said. "1 didn't see it, or it certainly would 
have been cleared up. There are no sut>- 
jects in the LEIU data base except those 
involved as either principals or associates 
in organized crime activities. They don't 
have to belong to La Cosa Nostra, but 
they've got to be involved in some con- 
spiratorial organized crime activity." 

"Would the LEIU's definition of organized 
crime include radicals or tiomb-lhrowers?" 
I asked. 

"No, it certainly does not," Lieutenant 
Henry replied. "The LEAA [Law Enforce- 
ment Assistance Administration] has often 
asked us to include that kind of individual, 
and we finally told them to get off the sub- 
ject. We're not in thai kind of business," 

The 1973 report containing a copy of the 
mysterious statement was written by a 
group headed by Charles E. Casey, assis- 
tant director of the Organized Crime and 
Criminal Intelligence Branch of the Califor- 
nia Department of Justice (an LEIU 
member agency). I called him and asked 
what the statement meant, 

"I'm not sure I can explain what it 
means," he replied. "The LEIU data base is 
100 percent organized crime, except for a 
few of what I would call "arrested or iden- 
tified terrorists ' I really couldn't explain the 
statement, right off the bat." 

What is an "identified terrorist," and how 
does he or she differ from the "arrested" 
variety? The answer is that it's not neces- 
sary to have been convicted of any crime, 
or even arrested, in order to earn oneself a 
l_EIU dossier, according to the 1974 Sen- 
ale testimony of then LEIU general chair- 
man Donald Carroll. An "identified ter- 
rorist" is anyone the LEIU believes to be a 

Lieutenant Henry's "no bomb-throwers 
or radicals" claim seems in direct con- 
tradiction to Casey's admission that the 
LEIU files contain "a few terrorists," and 
neither man offers a very adequate expla- 
nation of the "persons other than organized 
crime subjects" slip appearing in the report 
of an LEAA-funded study that Casey him- 


The pine tree shHliny. 
It u cta Autcnca's first coin. 

America's first 
flags bore trees as 
their emblems. 

Please be careful of fire. 
Because a country wilhou 

its forests is a 
country without its future 

A PuWie Service olTn.s Miajj,ne 1 TneAlvet^iingCouneil 

CQ^"iMJED =10M PAGE 19-; 

self directed. Si ill. what does it mattef if the 
LEIU has added a few bombers, kidnap- 
pers, and hijackers lo its coileclion of loan 
sharks, pimps, hit men, and gambtefs?Tlie 
disturbing thing about the LEIU files is that 
the criteria for opening a dossier on some- 
one seem rather vague and subjective. If a 
person can be deemed a member of or- 
ganized crime even though he doesn't be- 
long to the Mafia, has never been con- 
victed of anything, and has never been 
arrested, one is moved to wonder whether 
the LEIU's definition of an "identified ter- 
rorist" is broad enough to include people 
who simply disagree with the government. 

LI. J.O. Brannon is a Houston police intel- 
ligence officer and the spokesman who 
first charged the LEIU with spying on law- 
abiding citizens. I asked him if he would 
describe the kinds of noncriminal subjects 
in the LEIU files. Unfortunately, he could not 
discuss the specific contents of any of the 
files seized by the federal court, but his 
general comments served to put the LEIU 
in better perspective, 

Lieutenant Brannon minimized the im- 
portance of the LEIU's special files. He said 
that the really important information is con- 
tained in the full dossiers maintained by 
each LEIU member agency and made 
available to every other member agency. 

"Wouldn't those files be exchanged be- 
tween police forces, even without the 
LEIU?" I asked. Not necessarily, Lieutenant 
Brannon informed me. 

Cops can be as suspicious of each other 
as Ihey are of "civilians." A police intelli- 
gence officef who makes a long-distance 
call to his counterpart in another law- 
enforcement agency may encounter re- 
gional or political mistrust, big city-small 
town bias, or any of a variety of other ob- 
stacles impeding an easy exchange of in- 
formation. For Ueutenant Brannon, the real 
value of the LEIU is overcoming this resis- 
tance through the regional and national 
meetings thai the group holds annually. 

"The LEIU meetings are mostly social 
affairs, but you build up lasting friendships 
when you go out and have a few drinks with 
an old boy." Lieutenant Brannon ex- 
plained. "Then, when he calls you up, you 
know who you're talking to. because you 
looked him in the eye just last week— some 
guy four states away. It's the closeness of 
the damn thing that 1 liked." 

Brannon said that expulsion from the 
LEIU hadn't made much difference to the 
Houston police. They still retained the LEIU 
directory listing the name and phone 
number of every LEIU contact in the more 
than 225 member agencies. Houston con- 
tinues to exchange dossiers with the other 
LEIU members. 

Regarding the current Houston spying 
scandal. Brannon observed, "We spread 

CHjr wings too tar ana exceeoea wnat wa 
proper, tapping a few phones and doing . 
few other Ihings. The damn thing got out c 
hand here, but I'm reasonably sure the 
were doing the same thing in every olhe 
city, They just didn't get caught at it," 

In fad, several other LEIU membe 
agencies did get caught at it during th 
same period as the Houston revelations, I 
Michigan the State Police and the Deiro 
Police Department— both LEIU menr 
bers— were charged with infiltrating an 
wiretapping a suburban Detroit consumt 
group at the request of state legislator 
who had been criticized by the organizf 
tion. In New York a Slate Supreme Cou 
judge charged New York City's Public Sf 
curity Unit— the current name for the NYP 
Red Squad — with carrying out an opei 
Iree-wheeling people-watching mission 
And in Washington, O.C., Senators Hem 
Jackson and Charles Percy asked II" 
General Accounting Office to investiga 
how police departments use federal func 
to carry out illegal spying activities in tf 
nation's ten largest cities, (The police di 
partments of seven of the ten cities a 
LEIU members.) But the most devaslatir 
revelations of police spying came out 
Baltimore and Chicago — both LEIU mer 
bers — ^where snooping scandals rivak 
that of Houston. 

The Chicago affair began when tf 
Afro-American Patrolmen's League, whit 
was involved in a discrimination si 
against the police department, filed 
routine request to subpoena whatever fili 
the local intelligence squad held on tl 
league. From the records obtained by ti 
court, it was clear that the police h; 
amassed files on a host of organizatio 
and individuals having no apparent crin 
nal connections. The police departmen 
Subversive Unit — or, as it was genera 
called, the Red Squad— had compili 
dossiers not only on the obvious targets 
police suspicion, such as political dis 
dents, but also on such personalities 
former Chicago Bears football star Ge 
Sayers and local television commenta 
Len O'Connor. Gaylord Freeman. 1 
chairman of the First National Bank, a 
Arthur Woods, chairman of Sears, Rc 
buck, and Company, earned Ihemselv 
dossiers by donating money to a ci' 
rights organization. 

Dossiers had also been opened on 
Theodore Hesburgh, the president of No 
Dame University, Chicago Daily News c 
umnist Mike Royko, the late Jackie Rob 
son. Republican mayors! candidate Jc 
Hoetlen, and an assortment of state a 
federal legislators. The Red Squad h 
files on the Chicago Metropolitan Ai 
Housing Alliance; the Organization fo. 
Better Austin (a section of Chicago); a 
the Citizen's Action Program, a group df 
icated to fighting the proposed Crossto 
Expressway. A file had tieen started oi 
Chicago doctor because the police h 
observed his car parked in the sai 
neighborhood where the Illinois Co 
munist parly was holding a meeting. 


deductive shorlcuts in wnling up their re- 
ports. If someone's car was parked in ttie 
same neighbortiood in wtiicli a certain 
'group was holding a rrieeting. that meant 
he had attended the meeting. If he had 
ailended a group's meetings twice (or if his 
car was parked nearby twice), then he was 
a member of the group. Such "facts" were 
recorded in a dossier and also forwarded 
to the FBI for inclusion in its files. And the 
allegation was available for swapping with 
any of the 225 other l_EIU member agen- 

In Baltimore a l^/laryland State Senate in- 
vestigating committee probed charges 
that the Police Department's InspecEional 
Services Division had spied on politicians, 
newsmen, and clergymen, They found that 
the police intelligence squad had also 
spied on labor unions, colleges and uni- 
versities, and civic groups concerned with 
such things as rodent control, highway re- 
location, and utility rales. In the words of 
one ISO officer, "If there was a meeting in 
Baltimore City, we were there." 

Baltimore's police commissioner, 
Donald D. Pomerleau, was not in the least 
shy about admitting that he had compiled 
information on practical'y everybody. In 
tact. Pomerleau often boasted of ine thick- 
ness of his dossiers and told the quaking 
visitor to hisoffice, "I know where you meet, 
when you are going to meet before you 
meet, what you do. , , ." In one case Pomer- 
leau summoned an individual to his office, 
sho^ved him his dossier, and watched with 
despotic satisfaction as the wretch fell to 
his knees before him and begged the 
police commissioner not to release the in- 
lormation. II must have been a high point in 
the 300-plus-year history of Baltimore- 

The fvlaryland Senate investigating 
committee found that "ISD had amassed a 
data bank containing the names of, and 
information pertaining to, hundreds, per- 
haps thousands, of citizens of this state, 
many of whom did nothing more than testify 
with respect to a particular piece of legisla- 
tion before the Baltimore City Council or 
peaceably walk a picket line." The commit- 
tee noted that "the feeling seemed to pre- 
vail in ISD that persons who deviated from 
the norm, who were outspoken or criticized 
the status quo, members of organized 
labor, picketers, and protesters — these 
peofjle were "potential threats' and society 
must be protected against them." 

In an interview with ihe Chicago Tribune, 
a Chicago Red Squad officer declared, "I 
believe in the American flag, and I want it to 
stay Amehcan and not turn Pink. The way 
things are run now, democracy is running 
wild. Everyone is allowed to do anything 
he wants. I believe Ihe counlfy, the state, 
and the city come before individual nghts." 

A Chicago grandmother who was paid 
twenty-five dollars per month by the Red 
Squad to infiltrate church and community 
groups told reporters from the Chicago 
Daily News. "I am a police spy. and I am 
proud of It. 1 do police-spy work because, 
as far as I'm concerned, God and Country 

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Some might say that such altitudes are 
typical of the point of view of the police, but 
there is iilUe about police intelligence offi- 
cers that is typical of most policemen. 
Within a police department the intelligence 
squad is almost as alien as it is within soci- 
ety as a whole. In Baltimore many veteran 
officers were completely unaware of the 
existence ol the Inspectional Services Di- 
vision. Fewer than forty olficers in Ihe de- 
partment had any idea of the unit's func- 
tion, and only a small percentage of those 
who did had been fully briefed on its opera- 
tion. In fact, the Baltimore cops were them- 
selves targets of ISO spying when they 
went out on strike in 1974; undercover of- 
ficers from the unit photographed police- 
men as they walked picket lines outside 
their station houses. 

In Chicago, too. the Red Squad's ac- 
tivities were shrouded Irom the rest of the 
police department. Recruits selected to 
serve in Ihe unit bypassed training in the 
police academy so thai former classmates 
couldn't identify them later. Senior Chicago 
police officials claimed lo a grand jury that 
they were ignorant of Ihe Red Squad's ac- 
liviiies. But the most bizarre example of the 
chasm between Red Squad officers and 
the cop on the beat is the case of one 
undercover officer who infillraled a 
Chicago group and eventually became its 
presidenl. He admiited to Ihe Cook County 
Grand Jury probing police-spying ac- 
tivities that he had specifically urged other 
members of the organization to shoot 
Chicago policemen and had even de- 
monstrated the mosl strategic way to place 
snipers in downtown Chicago so that Ihey 
could blow away the greatest number of his 
fellow officers. 

Conspiracy to commit lirst-degree mur- 
der is the worst, but by no means the only, 
case of lawbreaking by police intelligence 
squads perpetrated by the LEIU. The 
Chicago Red Squad, for example, carried 
out a six-year program o( burglary, van- 
dalism, and assault in collaboration wilh a 
hoodlum gang masquerading as a patriot- 
ic group and calling itself the "Legion of 
Justice." The legion was the brainchild ol 
the late right-wing Chicago attorney S. 
Thomas Sullon, who recruited an unsavory 
assortment of local thugs wilh patriotic pre- 
tensions to harass peace groups and serve 
as the unofficial shock troops of the 
Chicago Red Squad. From 1967 to 1973 
the Legion of Justice carried out a series of 
break-ins. trashings, and assaults on an- 
tiwar groups, often under ihe approving 
gaze of Chicago police officers parked 
nearby in their squad cars. In some of the 
break-ins, especially those in which illegal 
bugging devices were planted, members 
of Ihe Red Squad served as lookouts while 
the legion hoods did the actual burglary. 

The mosl common type of criminality 
among LEIU intelligence squads is illegal 
wiretapping, which is almost always done 

wilh some degree of cooperation from i 
local telephone company A former Be 
more vice-squad officer lold the Maryla 
Senate investigating committee that ihe 
telligence squad routinely installed illB' 
telephone laps with the aid of an ex-c 
who worked for the Chesapeake a 
Potomac Telephone Company. A phc 
company spokesman denied Ihe chari 
In Houston some of the officers who adr 
led taking part in illegal wiretapping s 
that Ihe taps had been placed with ihe 
cooperation of the Southwestern Bell Te 
phone Company and named some 1 
phone-company employees as havi 
helped in the illicit eavesdropping. Sol 
western Bell denied the charge, alihoug 
Bell spokesman said that he could not r 
out the possibility lhat some of the cc 
pany's 14,000 employees might have \ 
lated company policy and taken part in 

Ties between Southwestern Bell and 
Houston law-enforcement establishm 
are very close. The phone company e 
ploys about seventy Houston policemef 
moonlight as security guards. Eight cc 
pany officials held commissions as Spet 
Texas Rangers, with the full arrest £ 
weapons powers of slate police office 
And lourteen or fifteen of the compar 
lorty-tour-man security force are lorr 
special agents of the FBI, The Mr 
separating Southwestern Bell from Id( 
state, and federal law enforcement h; 
become extremely thin. 

Where ptione-company cooperai 
cannot be obtained through the pol 
old-boy network, other means are ■€ 
ployed. Chicago Red Squad officers 
portedly obtained the help of four lllin 
Bell linemen in placing illegal taps afier 
men were caught by the police in "cc 
promising positions." The "compromis 
positions" included drunkenness and s 
ual misconduct, and the linemen w 
threatened with arrest and exposure if li 
refused to cooperate. 

Telephone companies are by no me; 
the only part of the private sector that a 
LEIU intelligence squads. A police t( 
book on the subject advises intelliger 
qllicers to cultivate contacts in ulility cc 
panies, airlines, banks, newspapers, bo 
ing companies, private detective ag 
cies. and credit tiureaus. The federal 
vacy Protection Study Commission 
cently heard testimony from such cc 
panies as American Express and Shera 
Hotels, in which they admitted lhat tl 
routinely surrendered information ab 
Iheir clients and guests lo law-enforcem 
officers on a simple oral request, wilh 
requiring a courl order. However, pasSt 
of the 1970 Fair Credit Reporting Act 
verely restricts Ihe information that a en 
agency can release without a subpoei 

Until the April 1971 effectiveness of 
Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Baltimore 
telligence squad had received the i( 
cCKJperalion of the Credit Bureau of Bi 
more. Inc., a local consumer credit ager 
in obtaining full access to the personal 


formation in its files. After passage of tlie 
federal credit law, however, the Baltimore 
cops found that an important source of in- 
formation had suddeni/ dried up. Several 
months a'ler the law had gone into eflect. 
Officer Terry Josephson of the intelligence 
squad left his $9.000-a-year job with the 
police department and became vice- 
president of United Credit Bureaus of 
America. Inc.. one of the largest indepen- 
dent consumer credit agencies in the 
counify, which more than doubled his old 

United Credit Bureaus of America has 
files on most citizens of Maryland, and 
Josephson had unlimited access to this 
information. An inlelligence-squad officer 
told the Maryland Senate investigating 
committee that Josephson supplied some 
of this knowledge to the police without 
Iwnefit of court order. Josephson denied 
that he was serving as an undercover in- 
formant tor the Baltimore intelligence 
squad; but shortly after his role was pub- 
licized, he resigned his $20,000-plus-a- 
year job with United Credit Bureaus of 
America and returned to the police de- 
partment at his old salary. 

In fairness lo the LEIU, it should be 
pointed out that the number of member 
intelligence squads that recently have ac- 
tually been caught breaking the law or spy- 
ing on noncriminal citizens represents less 
than 5 percent of its membership. Never- 
theless, in the opinion of one Houston po- 
lice official, such practices are much mofe 
widespread and the recent revelations are 
only the lip ol the iceberg. In one sense, it is 
remarkable that any of the intelligence 
squads at all were caught, given the inher- 
ent difficulty of investigating the police, 
who are also in a unique position to cover 
up their transgressions. In fact, the probes 
of the intelligence squads in Houston, Bal- 
timore, and Chicago all encouniered the 
same pattern of police resistance and 

Baltimore Police Commissioner Pomer- 
leau tried unsuccessfully to halt a State 
Senate investigation of his department by 
slapping every member of the investigat- 
ing committee with a lawsuit. Through a 
variety of delaying tactics, former Chicago 
Police Supt, James B. Conlisk hamstrung a 
Cook County Special Grand Jury inves- 
tigating his department. Conlisk insisted on 
consulting with tiis lawyer in an adjoining 
room whenever [he grand jury asked him a 
question, including such queries as, 
"When did you become superintendent of 
the Chicago Police Department?" and. 
"Did you take an oath to serve and protect 
Ihe interest of the citizens of !he city of 
Chicago?" During one tiresome three-hour 
grand-jury session, Conlisk made thirly- 
one trips between tfie hearing room and 
Ihe anteroom, where his lawyer wailed. The 
grand jury recommended that Conlisk be 
cited tor contempt. 

In Houston the Police Officers Associa- 
tion ran a lull-page newspaper advertise- 
ment to complain about their new chiel, 
Carroll M. Lynn, who had made the initial 

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probB into the intelligence squad's illegal 
wiretapping. Enough pressure was 
brought to bear upon Chief Lynn to torce 
his resignation, alihough the investigation, 
which had been taken over by a federal 
grand jury, continued. 

Police resistance to the probes also went 
taeyond such legal and public-relations 
maneuvers. In Chicago a state's attorney 
investigating the police received a report 
that his own phone had been tapped. A 
Baltimore newspaper reporter critical of 
the police was the target of surveillance 
and other harassment; on three occasions 
when he returned to his car parked in the 
police department's parking lot, he (ound 
that the tire lugs had been loosened. Police 
otficers called lo testify by the State Senate 
committee investigating the Baltimore intel- 
ligence squad said they feared they would 
lose their jobs if it was learned that they had 
cooperated with the committee. In Chicago 
many officers who were called in the grand- 
jury investigation of the Red Squad re- 
ceived the same anonymous telephone 
message: "We know you have seen the 
stale's attorney. I f you want to slay healthy, 
you'd better not talK before the grand jury." 

During the probe a mysterious fire broke 
out on the eighth floor of Chicago police 
headquarters. It seems to have started in 
one of the filing cabinets containing the 
Red Squad's files. Other records subpoe- 
naed by the grand jury, such as the Red 
Squad's electronic-surveillance log. had 
been "routinely destroyed." The Baltimore 
intelligence squad "routinely destroyed" 
many of its files on political dissidents 
sometime in 1973. According lo Houston 
police intelligence officer Lt. J.O. Brannon. 
other LEIU members destroyed their files 
when il seemed as though their political- 
surveillance activities might be investi- 

"After the government seized our files," 
he said, "Guess what Los Angeles did? 
They burned almost every goddamn thing 
they had. Some of the other cities did the 
same thing. They called it 'purging the 
tiles.' We should have done the same thing, 
but we didn't know that's what you're sup- 
posed to call it." 

You might also call it destroying evi- 
dence of a felony, unless you were merely 
grateful that such a collection of scurrilous 
gossip had been consigned once and for 
all to the flames. But such a celebration of 
the destruction of police dossiers could be 
premature. An intelligence officer might be 
able to state under oath lo a grand jury or 
senate committee that the police depart- 
ment no longer has a dossier on John Doe, 
but such testimony is no insurance thai a 
copy of John Doe's dossier isn't locked 
away in the file cabinet of another LEIU- 
member intelligence squad in a city 3,000 
miles away, or. for that matter, that some 
225 copies of the dossier haven't been dis- 
tributed to every LEiU member agency. 
And there is also no guarantee that, after 
the investigators have completed iheir 
probe of the intelligence squad and have 
turned their attention elsevtfhere, the squad 

will not reconsiruci us aesiroyea iiies rrom 
duplicate copies stored elsewhere in the 
LEIU network. Invesiigators who look at 
police intelligence-squad lawlessness as a 
local problem are viclims of a shell game. 
They have never heard of the LEIU, or, if 
they have, they don't understand what il is. 

But whatever the real or potential abuses 
of the LEIU, it would be a mistake to regard 
it simply as the sinister apparatus of an 
incipient police state. The LEIU was formed 
for a very legitimate purpose, and whatever 
else it may now be up to, it continues lo 
perform a necessary law-enforcement 
function — the exchange of information on 
organized crime. 

Organized crime is a national enterprise, 
but the individual police department's 
jurisdiction ends at the city limits. In pursuit 
of an illicit buck, loan sharks, narcotics 
dealers, hit men, and other assorted hoods 
regularly cross stale lines and international 
boundaries with impunity, and the police 
force that tries to deal with Ihem as a local 
law-enforcement pnDblem is like a watch- 
dog on a short tether. The cops' basic prob- 
lem is how to get timely and accurate in- 
formation on the mobile mobsters who may 
turn up in theirtown. Bui providing thai kind 
of information to ihe local police sounds 
like the job of the FBI, not some private 
group like the LEIU. I asked LEIU general 
chairman Ray Henry why the bureau isn't 
doing it. 

"That's a hell of a good question; I wish I 
knew the answer," he replied, "The FBI has 
got so many rules and regulations about 
disseminating information lo local law- 
enforcement thai you get little or nothing 
Jtom them. Oh, we exchange information 
with individual FBI agents, but there is nc 
formal arrangement where informalion is 
automatically channeled to all inlerestec 
agencies by the bureau. That win nevei 
happen through Ihe FBI. but il happen; 
daily through the LE'U." 

Lieutenant Brannon in Houston put it Ihii 
way; "The FBI is a good organization, bu 
it's useless lo us. It prides itself on iis files 
but do you know where the informalion ir 
the FBI files comes from? Your local polict 
department. They come over here ant 
have access to everything they want, bu 
when we try to get some information on E 
suspect from them, it's a different story 
They pull the guy's file, then sit there hold 
ing il, and say 'Okay, what do you want tt 
know?' Well, I want to look through th( 
whole file, but they won't allow that. The' 
won't even let us hold it in our hands, 11' 
never going to change because ihe FE 
has this slandoffishness. They figure we'n 
a bunch of dumb-dumbs, and we figun 
they're a bunch of bureaucrats, and il' 
hard to break down thai barrier." 

The cops have always said thai dealin 
with the FBI is a one-way street, and man 
policemen complain thai the bureau is ur 
cooperative and less than zealous in ligh 
ing Ihe Mob. And afler all the recent revels 
lions of FBI abuses of police power, takin 
away its monopoly on criminal inlelligenc 
information may not seem likeacompletel 


bad idea. But the cure could be much 
worse lhan the illness; ihe FBI is. at least in 
theory, subordinate lo llie Justice Depart- 
merti and, ultimately, to the public, while 
the LEIU is a thoroughly private club. In 
selling up the LEIU, the cops have created 
the skeleton of a national police force that is 
also, in essence, a vigilante organization. 

Beyond the more obvious hazards lo 
civil nghts created by a private national 
police-intelligence network, there is also 
Ihe danger that the LEIU can provide a 
domestic spying apparatus to federal 
agencies prohibited from setting up their 
own surveillance machinery within the bor- 
ders ol the United States. U.S. Army Intelli- 
gence, which in the recent past has shown 
a disturbing propensity for spying on 
Americans, is more than a little chummy 
with the local cops in many cities. The army 
trained several Baltimore intelligence- 
squad officers in techniques of electronic 
eavesdropping and surreptitious entry at 
Its Fort Holabird spy school in Maryland. In 
return, the Baltimore cops passed along 
many of their intelligence reports to the 
army. In Chicago the Red Squad was in 
daily contact with ihe army's n3th Military 
Intelligence Group during the late 1960s 
and early 1970s, passing along intelli- 
gence reports and receiving_a variety of 
technical assistance. The 11 3th also pro- 
vided money, tear-gas bombs, mace, and 
electronic-surveillance equipment to the 
Legion of Justice thugs whom the Chicago 
Red Squad turned loose on local antiwar 
groups. On at least two occasions, the 
tnjiisol the legion's burglaries turned up in 
army hands. In one case, documents stolen 
From the defense attorneys in the famous 
Chicago Seven trial, which grew out of Ihe 
disturbances at the 1958 Democratic Con- 
vention, were turned over to the army by 
the Legion of Justice hoodlums, For a very 
familiar reason Ihe Cook County Grand 
Jury was unable to discover how deeply 
the 113th was involved with the Chicago 
,Red Squad: the army reported that it had 
destroyed all its repords of the liaison. 

How extensive the relationship may be 
between Army Intelligence and other LEIU 
member agencies is not clear, but the de- 
gree ol army involvement with local police 
forces was indicated recently when Ihe 
army's Criminal Investigation Command 
applied (or funds (which were ultimately 
denied) lo buy 324 marble paperweights 
and 50 walnut wall plaques. The items were 
to be presented to police chiefs across the 
country who had cooperated with the Ar- 
my's CIC. It would be remarkable if such 
cooperation did not at least occasionally' 
include access to the files and other assets 
ol the LEIU- 

Bui Army Intelligence is by no means the 
only federal agency that might (ind the 
LEIU's ready-made dossier network to be 
of value. Co-opting the local police in 
foreign countries is standard operating 
procedure m Ihe CIA's tsook ol tricks. In Ihe 
past, the agency would select foreign 
police officers for recruitment when they 
came to Washington. D C, to study Ameri- , 


can police meihocis al mo Siale Depsfl- 
ment's Inlernalional Police Acarlemy. 
When i^e recruited oldcors reuirned lo 
iheir'jobs in I'^eir home counines, iiiey 
v.oi.ld be or; ihe CIA payroll- CIA v.rttchers 
lamiliar wllh this process were more man a 
htiie disiurbed lo learn lhal tho agency liad 
conducted similar police-lraming courses 
for police ollicers Irom many police de- 
parlmenls wilhin Ihe Uniled States. Of 
courae. such training might have been 
prompted by the purely altruistic motive of 
disseminating the advanced police tech- 
nology developed by the agency tor over- 
seas use, but it would be naive to ignore the 
fact that local police cooperalion would be 
essential lo domestic intelligence opera- 
tions, an area we now know the agency 
was involved in Irom the early 1960s, And 
given the CIAs Operation CHAOS, a pro- 
gram directed at spying on domestic dis- 
sidents. It would be doubly naivo lo sup- 
pose the agency has ignored the LEIU 
netiA/ork. which links virtually every major 
Red Squad on the North American Conti- 

Douglass Durham, the former Des 
Moines cop who claims to have worked in 
an LEIU undercover p'ogram. ssys that he 
heard of a federal government employee 
who was involved with LEIU. "He was sup- 
■posediy working (or Ifie Department of Jus- 
lice, but I heard rumblings that he was from 
CIA. Nobody really wanted to say v/hat the 
connection was." 

Durham Is rather vague about this mys- 
tery man and acknowledges lha: the report 

is only scuttlebutt. However, mere is one 
inieresling piece ol circumstantial evi- 
dence suggesting some sort ol interface 
between the CIA and the LEIU. 

There is only one LEIU member agency 
in the Washington, D.C, rnetropolilan area, 
and only one LEIU member agency in the 
entire slate ol Virginia; it is the same 
agency, the Fairfax County, Va.. Police De- 
partment, It's a little surprising that the Fair- 
fax County police belong to a network os- 
tensibly dedicated to lighting organized 
crime, because there is liltle indication ol 
Mob activity in Fairfax County, a quiei, 
upper-income, bedroom suburb ol the na- 
tion's capital. In fact, the only enterprise 
with any known Malia connections located 
anywhere in Fairfax County is the 1 25-acre 
wooded tract lhal is CIA headquarters 

Ties between the CIA and the Fairfax 
County police are, to say the least, close. 
The agency has given the Fairfax cops 
training in electronic surveillance, surrep- 
titious entry, lockpicking, safecracking, 
and explosives, II has provided equipment 
and personnel to assist the police depart- 
ment in several of its investigations. The 
agency hosted a dinner lor one retiring 
Fairfax police captain who had been par- 
ticularly helpful and presented him with a 
$150 watch as a token of its appieciation. 

In return for such largesse, the Fairfax 
police provided the CIA with police badges 
and identification to be used as cover in 
domestic investigations. The Fairfax cops 
have also provided assistance -to the 
agency in staging tlie "arrest" and Interro- 

ydllUIIUI 1_<I« iiiicii>ycii>_o-'j-ii\<vi 

order to determine whether ttiey could re- 
sist such pressure prior lo being assigned 
overseas. But the greatest act ol fealty to 
the CIA may have been performed in the 
early hours of February 19, 1971, whan 
several Fairfax County police officers and 
CIA agents broke into a photographic 
studio in Fairfax Dly, Va The studio was 
owned by a Cuban refugee whose fiance 
was a former CIA file clerk. The agency was 
afraid lhat Ihe woman might have taken 
classified documents and gi'-'en them to 
the Cuban; so an illegal entry was mounted 
in order to search the studio To ensure that 
everything went smoothly. Ihe break-in ex- 
pedition was led by the chief of the Fairfax 
County police. If the Fairfax police were 
willing to aid and abet the CIA in the com- 
mission of felonies, it seems reasonable to 
assume that they would be more than will- 
ing to act as a "cut-out" or interface so that 
information and influence could pass be- 
tween the CIA and the LEIU, And it's hard to 
imagine the CIA passing up that kind of 

Of course, it's just possible that the LEIU 
has never been exploited by the CIA, Army 
Intelligence, or any other federal agency. 
And maybe, despite the lawlessness and 
political spying of many of its member 
agencies, tfie LEIU is nothing more than a 
group of policemen dedicated to fighting 
organized crime. But even granting such a 
generous benefit of the doubt, the LEIU 
remains one of the most potentially dan- 
gerous threats to freedom in America. 

We have been able to save ourselves 
Irom the police state— at least thus far— 
because the American form of government 
is equipped with a system of checks and 
balances that makes executive agencies 
ultimately accountable to the people. But 
there is a powerful dossier subculture in 
America, a vast old-boy network that lies 
together intelligence agencies, police de- 
partments, credit bureaus, private detec- 
tive agencies, bonding companies, and 
the many other collectors and compilers o' 
personal information about private cili' 
zens. It IS an aggregation of police powei 
beyond the direct control of the democratic 

The LEIU is a part of this subculture, anc 
it is an especially powerful part because i 
has form, structure, and efficiency. Per 
haps it doesn"! spy on ordinary citizens 
and perhaps it directs its attention solel- 
toward organized crime, but all that couii 
change witti a single meeting of the LEIU' 
executive board. There is no statutory chai 
ler that defines-the limits of the LEIU's opet 
aliens, and so it can be and do whatever it 
members decide it ought lo be and do. 

In the meantime, . of course, and despil 
whatever else is on the secret agenda c 
Ihe LEIU, the organization continues t 
supplement the FBI's uncertain war on o 
ganized crime. Perhaps the LEIU plays 
vital role; perhaps it performs an indi: 
pensable function in our national hoidin 
action against La Cosa Nostra. But somt 
how there must be a better way. OH— a